Your Brief Bio:
I am Elumah Ochoche Ijachi, a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria who loves to read and write. And I have passion for the youth as well as their wellbeing.
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#life indeed is a test
It all happened several years ago. Adole, a young man in his twenties, had just got admission to study Accounting at Benue State University (BSU). BSU is located in Makurdi town of Benue state, North Central Nigeria. Adole is Idoma by tribe and hails from Apa Local Government Area of Benue State. He is the last born out of five children. His father, Mr. Williams Adah, is a Civil Servant in the State Ministry of Environment with few years to retire. While his mother, Mrs Ruth Adah, is a nurse at Federal Medical Centre, located in the same town.
In his second year at the University, Adole was already being called "Mr.H" because of his overwhelming honest deposition. Where others could not resist the temptation to get personal gain or favour, Adole maintained his integrity. Whenever he came across any relevant past question or lecture note, he announced it to everyone in class; whenever assistance was needed to make photocopies, he volunteered and returned any balance without keeping a dime for himself; whenever the lecturer recommended any textbook, as soon as Adole located it, he informed his colleagues exactly where to find the said textbook in the library. Many more examples abound of his trustworthiness.
As he progressed to the third year of his programme, his course mates resolved to vote him as the next class captain because the tenure of Haruna, the incumbent class captain was over. Haruna's reign as a class captain was terrible. He cheated and defrauded the class every opportunity he had.
A day was fixed for the election. Haruna sought for support to be re-elected before that day but had lost all goodwill from his colleagues. On the day of the said election, only Adole was nominated. He was unopposed and emerged as the class captain. As he stood in front of the class to give his first speech as the class captain, his thoughts reminisced into the past.
A particular event came to his mind. He and his siblings were the ones who usually washed and dried their father's dirty clothes. Even at the age of five, he still got his share of this work, although it was usually stockings. On that fateful day, after their father had shared out his clothes to each of them to wash, Adole overheard his siblings discussing how they found some money their father forgot in his pocket. Adole warned them to return the money, but they all refused and used it to buy biscuits and sweets.
After their father returned home that day in the evening, Adole told his father everything his siblings did. His father appreciated him and bought him a very big pack of biscuits and sweets that took days to finish. On the other hand, his siblings were all reprimanded for their wrong act. The following day, after their father left for work, his siblings ganged up and beat him to stupor. When his father returned from work, he saw the scars all over Adole's body. He found out it was Adole’s siblings that beat him for telling the truth. Thereafter, his father told him something that he will never forget in his lifetime:
"My son, don't worry, the place where honesty will take you to, people who tell lies will not be able to reach."
After some seconds, Adole returned from his flashback and simply told his course mates who were patiently waiting to hear his first speech that
"Thank you for voting me in as your class captain. I pray I don't disappoint you."
Adole tried his best to carry out his responsibilities as the class captain even into the final year of their programme. However, during one of the lectures which his colleagues considered boring, something happened. When the lecturer backed the class to write something on the board, two students squeezed sheets of paper in their hands and threw paper balls at him. The whole class was quiet when he asked who did it and they expected Adole to do same. But to their greatest surprise and amazement, he identified and pointed them out to the lecturer who was very pleased with him and punished the students. After the lecturer left, the whole class rained insults upon Adole. In fact, some even spat on him. His honest and courageous disposition even at odd times was now a bitter pill for his colleagues to swallow. He went home that day in tears but later encouraged himself with what his father told him years past.
After graduating from the university with a second class honours degree in accounting, he awaited his National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) posting. The NYSC is a one-year compulsory Federal Government funded scheme for all graduates in Nigeria under the age of thirty. He and his family earnestly prayed that he should not be posted to any state where Boko Haram activities were at its peak. Boko Haram is a local terrorist group responsible for suicide bombings, assassinations and random destruction of life and property in the Northern part of Nigeria. He was eventually posted to Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. His place of primary assignment was a large accounting firm located at Garki, Abuja town. His service to the firm was outstanding and his effectiveness was deeply appreciated. Mr. Obi, the CEO of the firm, appointed Adole as one of his auditors at the end of the mandatory scheme.
Adole continued his service to the firm and Miss Bola, the secretary of the firm, caught his attention. After two years, he indicated his interest to marry her, she agreed and they notified their respective parents of their intention. One of the times they went out for lunch, Adole told Bola, his fiancée that he had a secret to share with her. She was so excited that when they got to the restaurant, instead of asking for what to eat, she asked Adole for the secret he wanted to share. Adole told her to be patient with him. After ordering for their meal, he let the cat out of the bag and told her that he was a virgin. And that he was keeping himself for marriage. She was astonished that a handsome man like him could still keep himself chaste. She encouraged him, telling him that he was a true role model to countless others out there. Bola’s words went far to inspire Adole to hold on. She also told him that she was a virgin too, but it was a lie.
A very big multi-international client came to the firm Adole was working, seeking for her accounts to be audited for the purpose of tax computation. The said client was willing to pay a huge amount of money for the firm to manipulate the accounts in order to avoid and evade tax in every way possible illegally. Mr. Obi, the CEO of the firm, accepted the deal but the top executives under him warned him that the only hurdle to the deal was just one of their staff and that person was Adole. This was because Adole was known for his sincere approach toward everything.
Adole received a call from his boss, Mr. Obi that he was needed in his office at 10:00am the following day. By 9:00am, Adole was already seated waiting for his boss. Finally, after three hours of waiting, he was ushered into the office. After exchanging pleasantries, his boss made it clear to Adole that he wanted him to co-operate with his colleagues in every way possible in preparation of the accounts for the multi-international client to reduce the tax they were to pay to the Government even if it means to adjust the client's account illegally and against accounting standards. Adole was disappointed and explained to his boss that it was illegal. But Mr. Obi informed him that he stood the chance to receive N2 million naira if he agreed to compromise. Adole held his breath for a moment, while his boss thought that finally, Adole had been bought over. He eventually replied, "I can't Sir, I am very sorry." The Boss shouted angrily, "get out of my office right now." Adole ran out of the office with tears in his eyes. It took him hours to recover and calm down.
The following day, the worst had happened. As Adole reached his office, he was welcomed with his sack letter from the accounting firm. The first person he called was his fiancée. She met him, encouraged him and told him that she would see him later.
Adole searched for jobs for so many months but to no avail. His savings had crashed down to zero. His rent was long overdue and the landlord was troubling him every day. He had no choice than to pack to his family house at Makurdi, Benue State. He relied on support from family and friends to buy anything, even recharge cards for his phone.
Suddenly, Bola stopped picking his calls, neither did she call him back. He tweeted her and sent her messages on Facebook but got no reply. Adole then manage to purchase a new sim card and called Bola with it. When she picked the call, Adole told her he was the one that called. As he tried to inquire why she refused to answer his calls and messages, she got angry, shouted at him and dropped the call. Adole was surprised but thought it was one of those usual quarrels between lovers. He felt she needed some time to herself. But to his amazement two weeks later, he received a message from Bola that it was over between them and she was not interested in the relationship anymore. After reading the text message, Adole fell down and broke into tears. He screamed, "God please save me from this mess."
After crying for some hours, he heard his phone rang. The phone rang the second time, he checked it, but it was an unknown number. So many thoughts went through his mind. Could it be Bola trying to reconcile? Should he answer the call or not? The phone rang again and he decided to answer it. The caller identified himself as Mr. Folarin, the Director of Human Resource in the Central Bank of Nigeria. He asked Adole to see him the following day at the Central Bank office located at Central Business District, Abuja by 11:00am. Adole was perturbed because he did not drop any resume at the said bank and he did not have any relation working there.
He explained it to his parents, they encouraged him to go but advised him to be careful. Thereafter, they gave him enough money to cover his trip to Abuja. The following day, he was at the office before 11:00am because he left Makurdi very early in the morning. After some minutes, he was ushered into Mr. Folarin's office. As he entered, the man told him to sit and he got the shock of his life. Mr. Folarin told him that he had been looking for a honest person with unquestionable character to work in the Audit department in the bank and Adole's former boss, Mr. Obi recommended him and actually gave his number to him. Mr. Folarin then presented Adole an appointment letter as Audit Officer with Central Bank of Nigeria, at the Abuja branch. Adole was also given the keys of his official car. Adole then asked Mr. Folarin why Mr. Obi did this? Mr. Folarin replied that Mr. Obi was his childhood friend and when he asked Mr. Obi when they met at the bar recently to show him someone with impeccable character, Mr. Obi endorsed him as the perfect candidate for the position.
After five years of working with the bank, Adole was blessed with a beautiful wife who was truthful and faithful to him, and he built a very big bungalow for his personal use. He also built flats and rented them out to tenants. He bought two dream cars, and in that same year his wife delivered twins, a boy and a girl.
Adole reflected over the challenges he had faced and all the things he had accomplished in his life, as he sat in his posh office. He chuckled and said to himself "life indeed is a test."